Journeys with Jim: Sly turkey gets away ... this time

Published on Wednesday, 2 May 2018 21:17
Written by Jim Beliveau


Last Wednesday saw the opening day of the spring turkey hunting season here in Connecticut.

I had arranged to be off from work for the first three days for hunting. I should have known that the weather would be crummy, but not being one to miss any opening days, I went for it anyway.

I guess that I don’t have to remind anyone that it rained every day. My body and equipment got a bit damp, but not my spirit.

I journeyed to northwest Litchfield County for opening day, as the weather app on my phone was showing kind of clear skies up that way. It indeed was dry when I arrived at my destination, but the wind had picked up some, which makes turkey calling difficult, not to mention trying to hear a bird gobbling off in the distance.

Eventually the rain caught up with me at about 10 o’clock and I decided to call it a day.

On Thursday morning, I drove out to Coventry to some 70 acres of private land that I got permission to hunt this year.

Oddly enough, it was dry when I left Bristol, but as soon as I crossed the Connecticut River into East Hartford it was raining again.

“Should have gone fishing,” I thought to myself as I arrived at the property. There were two deer standing at the gate where I was to park and they just looked at me as if to say, “dude it’s raining,” as if I didn’t already know.

No worries for me, as I’ve got my rubber boots and some new military surplus Gortex outer wear which really does keep you pretty dry. The jacket and pants are of a digital tiger stripe pattern, which is supposed to aid in image suppression (a new term I’ve learned). I was surprised that those deer could see me in my truck as I pulled up.

Friday turned out to be equally disappointing weather-wise. It was rather chilly and overcast at first light, but at least dry for most of the morning. By lunch time the rain started again. No matter, as I was already home enjoying a hot coffee with cold pizza, one of my favorite breakfast treats.

I had better luck this week on Tuesday morning at one of my local state forest spots. I had carefully and strategically placed my turkey decoys on an old logging road in the forest. I then set up my old turkey lounge chair and made ready my crossbow, sat down and waited.

At about 8 a.m., I heard the sound of a gobbler a little ways off. I started in with my hen call and he gobbled and gobbled. Finally I spotted him strutting down the old road right to my setup.

At the last moment, the bird did the unexpected. Instead of going right to my decoys, he sort of hooked around to his right, which brought him behind me. I couldn’t move to swing my bow around as he would have spotted me for sure. All I could do was sit still and wait.

Suddenly that tom let out a gobble that was so loud I almost jumped off my chair. He must have been just a few feet behind me.

After a little while all was quiet. I finally turned to see the old tom disappearing into the deep woods. Another day perhaps we’ll meet again.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Wednesday, 2 May 2018 21:17. Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2018 11:59.